Healthcare organisations are no strangers to mandatory vaccination for healthcare workers in Australia. While it is understandable healthcare workers are required to be fully vaccinated for work, having to manage a vaccination register on top of daily tasks is hard for organisations to handle.
Managing vaccination requirements and employee vaccination is not an easy feat. There are many complexities and nuances involved in the healthcare industry. Organisations have to take into account differing states’ regulations, complex organisational needs, and the risks of non-compliance.
Though it might seem like a daunting task, below is a guide to managing a vaccination register for healthcare organisations in Australia! We will first talk about current vaccination requirements and organisations’ challenges and responsibilities.
Current vaccination requirements
Before we delve into the guide to vaccination management, let’s understand the complexities in this industry.
While COVID vaccination is made mandatory for health workers in Australia, it is not a blanket implementation of regulations and requirements. Vaccination requirements and timelines differ based on different states, and it is not easy to keep up.
Requirements differ by state
For instance, in the Northern Territory, the government has mandated health workers to have their first dose by November 12 and second by December 24. Further, health workers who fail to comply will face a fine of up to $5000. They will also not be able to enter their workplace.
However, these regulations are applied differently in Victoria (VIC). Health workers need to provide evidence to show they are fully vaccinated from October 15. If they have yet to take two doses, they need to have their first dose and have an appointment booked for their second dose by December 15. Unlike the fines in Northern Territory, Victorian health providers face up to $109,044 in fines if they fail to comply with the requirements.
Western Australia (WA) also has a different set of restrictions. In WA, the requirements for healthcare workers are below:
- Tier one health care facility:
- First dose by October 1 and second dose by November 1
- Tier two health care facility:
- First dose by November 1 and second dose by December 1
- Tier three health care facility:
- First dose by December 1 and second dose by January 1
Unlike VIC and NT with only organisational and individual fines respectively, both organisations and individuals in WA can be fined when they do not comply. In WA, healthcare organisations face up to a $100k fine while individuals face a $20k fine.
These are just some examples of differing state regulations that further complicate the way organisations manage their vaccination register.
Responsibilities of Australian healthcare organisations
The added mandatory vaccination requirements have added more tasks for healthcare organisations to be on top of. In order to implement these vaccination requirements, organisations will need to inform each health worker about the new changes.
They have to inform workers about collecting, recording, and storing their vaccination information in their vaccination register. Healthcare organisations will also have to record staff’s vaccination statuses. Vaccination statuses include:
- Fully vaccinated – An individual who has received two doses of the vaccine.
- Unvaccinated – An individual who has yet to receive any COVID vaccine.
- Exempted person – An individual who has gotten certification or medical exemption from a medical professional who cannot get the vaccination.
Healthcare organisations also need to keep these records in compliance with state regulations. Like the different state vaccination requirements, states also have different requirements on how long the records are stored.
Challenges Australian healthcare organisations face
Managing a vaccination register for Australian healthcare organisations is not an easy task.
Ever-changing healthcare compliance requirements
One such challenge Australian healthcare organisations face is adhering to ever-changing healthcare compliance requirements.
With six different states and two territories in Australia, organisations will have to keep up with regulations from those different states. Unfortunately, none of these states has the same regulations for vaccination requirements. As such, organisations with facilities across the country will have to keep updated and monitor any changes.
Healthcare compliance is further complicated by the ever-changing and different regulations on the time period vaccination evidence can be stored for. State directions require organisations to store vaccination information for a certain period of time only. This information will have to be deleted accordingly.
Additionally, healthcare organisations face large amounts of fines and penalties if they are non-compliant. They also risk damage to their reputation.
Huge administrative workload and costs
Another challenge healthcare organisations face when managing their vaccination register is the enormous administrative workload and costs. As healthcare organisations expect a lot of staff, visitors and patients going in and out of their facility, managing the vaccination evidence can be a chore.
Organisations will have to spend more money to hire more manpower. More admin staff is needed to collect, verify and store all vaccination evidence submitted manually. Further, relying on manual labour to ensure compliance and validate vaccination evidence can lead to human errors.
When organisations make compliance mistakes, this can cost them their reputation as well. Therefore managing a healthcare organisation’s vaccination register well is crucial for the well being of the organisation. Just one compliance breach can cause the healthcare organisation to go into a downward spiral.
How healthcare organisations can manage their vaccination register
You might wonder, “how am I going to manage my organisation’s vaccination register?” Don’t worry. This is what we are here for!
We recommend healthcare organisations take the following steps below to ensure 100% compliance with state directions and protect themselves.
- Keep updated on state regulations and inform your staff as soon as changes occur. Your staff will have some time to prepare for any changes that will be implemented in a short period of time.
- Continuously inform and update staff on compliance requirements. This can be done via a weekly or monthly newsletter.
- Implement a vaccination management system to help automate the entire compliance and vaccination management process.
Implement a vaccination management system
The best way for healthcare organisations to manage their vaccination register is through a vaccination management system. A vaccination management system can help healthcare organisations reduce costs while remaining 100% compliant with ever-changing state requirements.
A vaccination management system like Zipline’s can help healthcare organisations optimise and streamline the entire vaccination collection and verification process. Automating workflow for all work types, we help encourage staff, visitors, patients, contractors and volunteers to pre-upload vaccination evidence pre-arrival.
Our machine learning AL feature can verify the uploaded evidence automatically without admin staff having to vet through them one by one. This helps reduce the number of staff needed and reduces labour costs.
We also have an in-house compliance team to help ensure your organisation remains 100% compliant and avoid unnecessary fines and damage to your reputation. We also specialise and have experience in helping the healthcare industry manage its vaccination register.
Onsite policing is done via our Zipline Kiosks for people who arrive onsite without uploading their vaccination evidence beforehand. Visitors will have to check-in via the kiosks before entering the facility. They will be required to upload their vaccination evidence as part of the check-in process. This is to ensure no one can fall through the loops and everyone is accounted for.
It would be easier for you to manage your organisation’s vaccination register through this vaccination management system.
Managing vaccination evidence in the healthcare industry is not easy. Healthcare organisations often face challenges such as the ever-changing state requirements and lack of human resources. However, organisations can quickly and effortlessly manage their vaccination register by implementing a vaccination management system.
Zipline’s effortless vaccination management is the one you need. With a dedicated compliance team and diverse functions on our vaccine management software, let us help you stay compliant with ever-changing state regulations.